|Jaguars without a Pro Bowler for second time in franchise history|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 18 December 2007 13:26|
The Jaguars (10-4), one win shy of clinching a playoff spot for the second time in three seasons, were shut out of the Pro Bowl when rosters were announced Tuesday.
No Fred Taylor - again. No David Garrard. Not even Rashean Mathis or John Henderson, both of whom made the Pro Bowl last season.
It marked the first time since the franchise's inaugural season in 1995 that Jacksonville didn't have a single player chosen to the AFC squad.
``Hometown people want to get their hometown guys in,'' coach Jack Del Rio said last week. ``When you get a bunch in, you can say we're the greatest, and if you don't, you think you got robbed. It's the same everywhere.''
Del Rio refused to lobby for any of his guys before voting ended last week, saying, ``It hasn't done a whole lot to help the first four years I've been here, so I'm not going to get into it this year.''
Defensive tackle Marcus Stroud was voted to the AFC squad in 2003, '04 and '05. Henderson made it in '04 and '06. Mathis earned his first trip to Hawaii last season.
This year, Jacksonville hoped Taylor, Garrard and maybe defensive end Paul Spicer would get the nod.
Taylor came close, finishing fourth behind San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson, Pittsburgh's Willie Parker and Indianapolis' Joseph Addai. Taylor trailed all three in rushing when voting ended last week, but he had a better yards-per-carry average than any of them.
Taylor figured that, along with his three straight 100-yards games and the fact he had never been to Honolulu in his 10-year career would give him a shot. He had to settle for first alternate for a second straight year, meaning if either Tomlinson, Parker or Addai is unable to make the trip, Taylor would get to go in his place.
``Whatever happens, happens,'' Taylor said last week. ``They've got to tally up the votes, and however it comes out, I've got to live with it. I've always felt like I'm Pro Bowl-quality, so everything else doesn't matter.''
Mathis and fullback Greg Jones also were first alternates. Mathis finished behind New England's Asante Samuel, Denver's Champ Bailey and San Diego's Antonio Cromartie. Jones was second to San Diego's Lorenzo Neal.
Garrard, the AFC's second-rated passer behind New England's Tom Brady, was a second alternate. Henderson and injured linebacker Mike Peterson also were second alternates.
Jacksonville was the only team with double-digit wins to not have anyone selected to the Pro Bowl. Only one other AFC team, the New York Jets, also had no representatives.
The NFC had five teams without Pro Bowlers: Atlanta, Carolina, Detroit, New Orleans and Tampa Bay.
``There are guys I think are pretty good football players on our team,'' Del Rio said. ``You guys know who they are. I speak about them every week. The more we win as a team, the more that stuff will come.''
Maybe. Just not this season.